Follow us on Facebook to receive important updates - thanks for your support! Follow us on Twitter to receive important updates - thanks for your support! Follow us on sina.com's microblogging site to receive important updates - thanks for your support! Follow us on Douban to receive important updates - thanks for your support!
Chinese Text Project
Show translation:[None] [English]
-> -> -> Prince and Minister

《君臣 - Prince and Minister》

English translation: J. J. L. Duyvendak [?]
Books referencing 《君臣》 Library Resources
1 君臣:
古者未有君臣上下之時,民亂而不治。是以聖人別貴賤,制爵位,立名號,以別君臣上下之義。地廣,民眾,萬物多,故分五官而守之。民眾而姦邪生,故立法制為度量以禁之。是故有君臣之義,五官之分,法制之禁,不可不慎也。處君位而令不行,則危;五官分而無常,則亂;法制設而私善行,則民不畏刑。君尊則令行,官修則有常事,法制明則民畏刑。法制不明,而求民之從令也,不可得也。民不從令,而求君之尊也,雖堯舜之知,不能以治。明王之治天下也,緣法而治,按功而賞。凡民之所疾戰不避死者,以求爵祿也。明君之治國也,士有斬首捕虜之功,必其爵足榮也,祿足食也。農不離廛者,足以養二親,給軍事。故軍士死節,而農民不偷也。
Prince and Minister:
In the days of antiquity, before the time when there were princes and ministers, superiors and inferiors, the people were disorderly and were not well administered, and so the sages made a division between the noble and the humble; they regulated rank and position, and established names and appellations, in order to distinguish the ideas of prince and minister, of superior and inferior. As the territory was extensive, the people numerous and all things many, they made a division of five kinds of officials, and maintained it; as the people were numerous, wickedness and depravity originated, so they established laws and regulations and created weights and measures, in order to prohibit them, and in consequence there were the idea of prince and minister, the distinctions between the five kinds of officials, and the interdicts of the laws and regulations, to which it was necessary to pay heed. If, when occupying the position of prince, one's mandates are not carried out, one is in peril; when there is no constancy in the distinctions between the five kinds of officials, there is disorder; when laws and regulations have been set up and yet private notions of virtue are practised, then people do not stand in fear of punishment. When the prince is respected, his mandates are carried out; when officials have been well-trained, there is constancy; and when laws and regulations are clear, people stand in fear of punishment. If laws and regulations are not clear, then it is impossible to obtain from the people the observance of mandates. If the people do not observe the mandates, but you want the prince to be respected, even a man with the wisdom of Yao and Shun would not be able to govern well. The way in which an intelligent prince administers the empire is to do so according to the law, and to reward according to merit. It is the hankering for rank and emoluments that prompts people to fight energetically and not to shun death. The way in which an intelligent prince administers a state is to award soldiers, who have had the merit of making decapitations or of capturing prisoners, with such rank as will really give honour, and to grant them such emoluments as will be sufficient for them to live on and to farmers, who do not leave their ground, sufficient to nourish both their parents and to keep their family affairs in order. Thus soldiers in the army will fulfil their duty even to death, and farmers will not be negligent.

2 君臣:
今世君不然。釋法而以知,背功而以譽。故軍士不戰,而農民流徙。臣聞道民之門,在上所先。故民可令農戰,可令游宦,可令學問,在上所與。上以功勞與,則民戰;上以詩書與,則民學問。民之於利也,若水於下也,四旁無擇也。民徒可以得利而為之者,上與之也。瞋目扼腕而語勇者得,垂衣裳而談說者得,遲日曠久積勞私門者得,尊向三者,無功而皆可以得,民去農戰而為之,或談議而索之,或事便辟而請之,或以勇爭之。故農戰之民日寡,而游食者愈眾,則國亂而地削,兵弱而主卑。此其所以然者,釋法制而任名譽也。
Prince and Minister:
But the princes of the present time do not act thus. They relax the law and keep to knowledge; they turn their backs on merit and keep to people of reputation. Therefore, soldiers do not fight and farmers are migratory. I have heard that the gate through which the people are guided depends on where their superiors lead. Therefore, whether one succeeds in making people farm or fight, or in making them into travelling politicians, or in making them into scholars, depends on what their superiors encourage. If their superiors encourage merit and labour, people will fight; if they encourage the Odes and Book of History, people will become scholars. For people's attitude towards profit is just like the tendency of water to flow downwards, without preference for any of the four sides. The people are only interested in obtaining profit, and it depends on what their superiors encourage, what they will do. If men with angry eyes, who clench their fists and call themselves brave, are successful; if men in flowing robes, who idly talk, are successful; if men who waste their time and spend their days in idleness, and save their efforts for obtaining benefit through private channels, are successful - if these three kinds of people, though they have no merit, all obtain respectful treatment, then people will leave off farming and fighting and will do this: either they will extort it by discussions and suggestions, or they will ask for it by practising flattery, or they will struggle for it by acts of bravery. Thus farmers and fighters will dwindle daily, and itinerant office-seekers will increase more and more, with the result that the country will fall into disorder, the land will be dismembered, the army will be weak and the ruler debased. This would be the result of relaxing laws and regulations and placing reliance on men of fame and reputation.

3 君臣:
故明主慎法制。言不中法者,不聽也;行不中法者,不高也;事不中法者,不為也。言中法,則聽之;行中法,則高之;事中法,則為之。故國治而地廣,兵強而主尊。此治之至也,君人者不可不察也。
Prince and Minister:
Therefore is an intelligent ruler cautious with regard to laws and regulations; he does not hearken to words which are not in accordance with the law; he does not exalt actions which are not in accordance with the law; he does not perform deeds which are not in accordance with the law. But he hearkens to words which are in accordance with the law; he exalts actions which are in accordance with the law; he performs deeds which are in accordance with the law. Thus the state will enjoy order, the land will be wide, the army will be strong, and the ruler will be honoured. This is the climax of good government, and it is imperative for a ruler of men to examine it.

URN: ctp:shang-jun-shu/prince-and-minister